Timeline of the Distant Past

This page is just a general place for me to build and type things that I can later stick on other pages. It's a page of thoughts.
((All dates WIP and subject to change upon further reflection or things I've probably forgotten))
((Names are placeholder))

Roughly 1895000 BC

- An ancient three-eyed humanoid species, the Antecedents (or Prenenai), begin to thrive in the Milky Way north of the galactic core. Their bodies were flimsy and weak, incapable of moving quickly, and they adapted very poorly to new environments or conditions. They were, however, quite smart.

Roughly 980000 BC

The Antecedents discover how to create wormholes, bending space with incredible precision. Over time they manage to increase their precision to manage jumps of up to about 50 light years. They also become a Type II Civilization in this time, the only one the Milky Way has ever known. Completely unbeknownst to them, however, their wormholes create a visible footprint in the outer envelope of the universe - like dangling bait for universe-hoppers.

- Shortly after the first wormholes are created, the Antecedents begin battling ancient enemies they collectively called the Chorpatas (or sky-crawler, direct translation) - an assortment of creatures from different universes that could slip through the outer envelopes. They wanted to consume, and were drawn by the ripples created by the wormholes.

Roughly 850000 BC

- During the wars with the Chorpatas, a new enemy emerged - the Quantums. The Quantums were interested in using the Antecedents as hosts. They tried to come to an agreement and obtain willingly sacrificed hosts, but the Prenenai, now much more war-minded, refused to allow it. But the Quantums didn't really feel like relocating because the Antecedents had the largest civilization anywhere nearby, and plenty of interesting technology.

- The Antecedents were pissed off and the Quantum-Antecedent war began. Unfortunately, unlike the Chorps, the Quantums were immaterial and impossible to actually defeat. Not only that, but they existed in multiple universes at once. Fortunately, all that was really required, they learned, was to destroy the portals the Quantums made back to their Nexus.

- The Quantums adopted a different strategy and merely weakened the universe's local outer envelope. Instead of blind, random attacks, the Chorps began massive incursions into Antecedent strongholds. The targeted Antecedent worlds crumbled in a series of massive curbstomp battles, and the Quantums came in with fanfare and made a showy appearance of saving the survivors from the Chorps, thus earning their trust and gratitude.

Roughly 775000 BC

- The Chorps savaged the worlds in the Northern Exclusion Zone. The Quantums and Antecedents united under a common banner and, after a series of wars, defeated the Chorps… but by that point, tens of thousands of Antecedent worlds had fallen. This was rather to the Quantum's liking, because they didn't want vast populations. They just wanted enough hosts to use.

Roughly 640000 BC

- The last natural populations of Antecedents died out. Those that remained existed under the protection of the Quantums, and gradually merged with variations between different universes. Over the next few hundred million years, through Quantum experiments, they became a multidimensional species, existing in several places at the same time.

Roughly 525000 BC

- The Quantums eradicated the holes created by the Chorps and strengthened the local envelope of the universe, thus keeping the Chorps from returning. The local envelope needed to be maintained by a number of carefully-placed megastructures, however, and these were scattered across the Northern Exclusion Zone.

Roughly 465000 BC

- The Qyrax emerged in the "southeast" quadrant of the galaxy, and began exploring the neighboring star systems. They continue to expand, eventually developing working cryotech, becoming the first (and the last) species in the galaxy to do so. The Quantums quickly find them and make a few quick experiments, but determine that, for one reason or another, their minds are not compatible for use as hosts.

- By this point in time, the Quantums were doing dangerous and highly-involved experiments on the nature of physics at celestial scales. This almost always involved importing things (and sometimes megacreatures) from other universes.

Roughly 110000 BC

- The Quantums begin seeding new species throughout the galaxy and tinkering on them, hoping to find another species to be used as hosts. They plant deposits of Veloxium nearby if available, planning to use it to determine which species advance far enough to be harvested and put to use.

Roughly 45,000 BC

- The Alts and Quantums split, starting a war

Roughly 18,000 BC

- The Alts begin to systematically eradicate Antecedent populations, destroying all sources of Quantum hosts. This makes the Quantum side of the fight significantly harder and marks the start of their downfall.

Roughly 12,000 BC

- The Quantums move the Plodii into the galaxy from a separate universe, hoping to use them as they're considerably more resilient than their now-failing Antecedent hosts

Roughly 10,000 BC

- The Qyrax begin to die out thanks to excessive genetic experimentation. By this point it is far too late for them to make any real attempt to save themselves. They are doomed.

Antecedents

Three-eyed aliens that our species is genetically based on. We happened to have animals on our planet similar to them (monkeys, apes) and the Quantums guided our evolution in that direction, but hoped to make us more resilient and adaptable, so as to be better hosts. The Antecedents (who called themselves the Prenenai) were without any doubt the most powerful single civilization (aside the Quantums) that are known to have ever existed in the Milky Way. Their empire spanned the northern half of the Milky Way, entirely without the use of cryotechnology or FTL travel. They invented wormholes and were capable of jumping a few dozen light years at a time. Unfortunately, the wormholes attracted unwanted attention and led to the eventual downfall of their civilization.

Chorps

Multiform beings that can climb between the envelopes of this universe and others. There are many "species" of Chorp, and they don't really follow any form of government or even alliance, but they all basically act the same way. They were initially attracted to our universe by the Antecedents; their wormholes created noticeable and recognizable patterns in space that could be read through the outer envelope of our universe. Sensing a powerful civilization here, they breached our universe's envelope and began to consume - primarily the creations of the Antecedents. The Chorps are driven by a desire to consume complex materials and integrate it with their bodies. Civilizations just happened to be a very nice and handy source for that. But the reason that they consume as they do is to defend themselves from the Latrogons. The Latrogons think of the Chorps as dangerous parasites and wage war against them - and the Latrogons are undoubtedly more powerful. By continuing to explore new universes for new materials, the Chorps are able to evolve and survive the Latrogon extermination attempts.

A dangerous property of chorps is that, when they integrate new materials from new universes, they partially absorb that universe's laws. As such, the laws of physics in any given universe begin to deteriorate around them thanks to their reality-warping attributes. Many chorps even attack by altering the laws of physics around them deliberately through the use of their anomalous materials.

The Chorps wreaked a great deal of havoc across our galaxy, fracturing and fragmenting the northern half before the Quantums even got to it. Evidence of their incursions still exists on planets that they attacked, and these are scarcely possible to explore without significant loss of life and limb. Their invasion became significantly worse when the Quantums intentionally (and permanently) weakened the universe's local envelope, broadcasting the location of the Antecedent civilization to the multiverse - a war strategy they would later come to regret. Although the Quantums did eventually defeat the Chorps and drive them out, creating megastructures to re-strengthen the galaxy's envelope past what the Chorps were capable of breaching, it took many hundreds of thousands of years, during which time the chorps practically obliterated the Antecedent civilization.

Latrogons

The colloquial name for ultra-advanced Type III (or even type IV) civilizations that have realized that there is a storm coming - that in the vast majority of universes, life is only possible (in its natural form) for 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the lifespan of said universes. They are so far advanced that they no longer view life such as that of humans as life anymore, but only as the basic building blocks. They have no qualms with eradicating us, or anything else that happens to get in their way. They have not been to our universe yet, but captured Chorps have related stories of the Latrogons - their worst fear. The Latrogons are universe-eaters, consuming not only matter but also somehow the laws of universes and spacetime itself, essentially trying to fatten themselves up for the coming winter, in the hopes that if they can just hold out long enough, a second big bang will occur across the multiverse as it has in the past, and they can leave the safety of their subspace homes. This quest for civilization-wide immortality has become their obsession to the exclusion of all else, and to them, even the Quantums are merely insects.

Quantums

Described in plenty of detail elsewhere. They just want to learn about the different multiverses. They are thoroughly unconcerned with the heat death of the universe, as the heat death of the universes is the ultimate end for their Boltzmann brains anyway.

The Alts

The Alts, an offshoot of the Quantums, have become obsessed with the concept of immortality and godhood through accumulated knowledge. Unlike the Latrogons, who seek to build "fallout shelters" with enough ordered mass to outlast entropy, the Alts seek to collect enough knowledge to create "lifeboat universes" in the far, far distant future, to which they could escape. With this goal in mind, they stop at nothing to learn, and are completely psychopathic.

Northern Exclusion Zone

Formerly the territory of the Antecedents. During the Quantums' wars with the Chorps, much was ruined or destroyed, and then the Quantum's half-million-year period of experimentation further distorted spacetime. Without question, though, the wars between the Quantums and the Alts were the most devastating of all. The NEZ is a barely-functional, shattered remnant of what it used to be, even down to screwing up spacetime and the laws of physics. It is quite common to come across sudden "physics storms" where things behave in a really "wrong" and generally destructive way. The strong nuclear force might suddenly turn off, or you could find yourself in a mire of time, or gravity might "forget" what it's supposed to do and electrocute you instead. Entire warfleets have disappeared, and it's not unheard of to find yourself staring at copies of yourself from alternate timelines, or even alternate universes. If you're lucky, you can see the storms coming from afar, and try to get out of the way - but if you're not, they might just happen to materialize right in front of you… or right under your feet.

The border of the NEZ, while vaguely defined, is not a "weird things past this point" line. It is merely a marker for "don't go beyond this point". Strange effects often happen nearby. Sometimes bad things happen outside the NEZ, although still in relatively close proximity.

Travel across the NEZ is possible, if incredibly risky. It is conceivably possible that you could traverse the entirety of the NEZ without encountering any untoward effects whatsoever - possible, if improbable. You and your ship might suddenly age twenty years for no apparent reason, or perhaps your ship (and you) will simply vaporize. It's a scary, dangerous place, and as a result, there are no long-term residents.

Effects of the distortions can, and have been, felt as far away as Old Earth, although physics events of this magnitude generally happen many decades apart. It's conceivable that the NEZ could create ripples powerful enough to damage things on the other side of the galaxy, and be felt across the universe - but it hasn't happened any time in recent history. The last records of such a phenomena are from the Plodii - an event that occurred shortly after their arrival in the Milky Way. Given recent scientific estimates, we're actually overdue the next such event - an event that we lack any safeguards or preventative measures for. The Quantums had methods to stabilize the galaxy's spacetime, but these have been lost and likely fallen into disrepair.

If such an event were to happen, it would be completely apocalyptic in nature. Some areas of the galaxy would be hit more strongly than others - in some places, there might only be a minor fluctuation in gravity, for instance, while in others the entire fabric of the universe might temporarily fail, erasing planets from existence. In extreme cases, it would be possible for entire civilizations to be erased from the timeline - past and present - to where half of everybody forgets they even existed.

Shattered space

Places in the NEZ where the Alts and Quantums fought their intense battles are typically rooted to their spot in space relative to the galactic center. They are places where time and space have become so shattered that simply wandering near them can screw with you, and going inside can get you caught in time loops where you might see yourself doing something before you even do it. In such places, the flow of time is broken and no longer follows causality. These areas, known as "shattered space", are the result of the Alts and Quantums trying to screw with physics and time hard enough to trash the opposing force - but neither side won because they reached an eternal, timeless stalemate from which they were unable to withdraw, rendering them permanently trapped and unable to escape. The battles continue to rage, because in the shattered echoes of the combat, nothing exists to curb their bloodlust. Their numbers split and resplit along timelines and continuums, merging and coalescing and constantly replenishing their numbers, such that even though the casualties continue to climb, neither side is ever depleted.

The appearance of Shattered Space is often likened to a broken mirror. You might see yourself reflected multiple times, or see a broken-mirror effect of whatever you're looking at. Rifts in spacetime mean reflections on nonexistent surfaces, and sometimes you can even see the back of your own head. Walking forwards can sometimes put you further backwards, and throwing an object forward doesn't mean it won't hit a rift and turn left or right relative to you - although to yourself, it is always flying straight. These "mirror effects" can slowly warp even as you watch them, appearing, disappearing, shifting, or fading in and out of view, merging with others and changing their angle of rotation through each other, melding and splitting. Watching it for a sustained period of time is enough to make a man go mad. Extended periods in shattered space, if you're lucky to survive that long, are often grounds for needing therapy for the rest of your life.